Watercolor Paper: What You Need to Know


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What should I look for in a watercolor paper?

What color is the watercolor paper?

What color is the watercolor paper

The color of watercolor paper varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and even between different types of paper made by the same manufacturer. The color of the watercolor can range from a rich, warm cream to a cool bluish-white. Descriptive names for watercolor paper colors include traditional white, extra white, bright white, and absolute white. The difference can be easy to see, or it can be slight, barely noticeable even when you have two different watercolor sheets side by side.

The important thing is to be aware that the color of the watercolor paper is different and impacts your painting. Cream-colored watercolor paper can make colors dirty. Watercolor with a bluish bias can make yellows look greenish. (But if you use a lot of graphite in a painting, creamier paper can be more attractive to the eyes than deep white paper that can be too bright and harsh on the eyes.)

When buying watercolor paper, consider its color as you would its finish and weight.

Note to beginners: If you are just starting to use watercolors, don't worry too much about the color of your watercolor paper. The important thing is to be aware that it is different, try different brands and weights to see what each one looks like. Buy only one brand and never try another.

Why does the watercolor paper have a watermark on it?

A watermark is the watercolor paper equivalent of the label sewn on a garment - it tells you who made it. Depending on the manufacturer, it can also tell you more, such as the brand and cotton content.

The watermark in the photo above, for example, tells you not only that this sheet of paper is made by Fabriano, but that it is a sheet of Artistico. Fabriano is said to have been the first company to use watermarks, beginning in the late 13th century).

Watermarks are most easily seen by holding a sheet of watercolor paper against the light. A watermark can be added by being part of the screen used to make the paper (less pulp appears to be used in this area) or embossing it (indentation) on the paper while still wet.

By the way, holding up a sheet of watercolor paper so that the watermark reads correctly does not mean that you have the "right" side of the paper in front of you. How this is done differs between manufacturers. The lack of a watermark is also not a sign that this is cheap and unsightly watercolor paper.

Does the watercolor paper have a good side and a bad side?

Does Watercolor Paper Have a Right and a Wrong Side

There is a difference between the two sides of a sheet of watercolor paper, with one side generally slightly softer (less hairy) than the other. But we would not tell them "correct" and "incorrect", since that would depend on what you demand of your watercolor paper.

The smoother side of a paper is best if you paint with lots of detail, while the shaggier side is best if you want to create color with lots of glazes.

Deckle edges on watercolor paper

A frayed edge on a sheet of watercolor paper is a frayed or frayed edge. This is the natural edge that forms during papermaking, where the pulp thins at the edges.

An entire sheet of handmade paper usually has frayed edges on all four sides. A sheet that has been cut will have one or more straight edges, depending on how it was cut. Some machine-made papers have simulated or "artificial" edges.

The width of the deck edge varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. In some roles, it is quite narrow; in others, it is quite wide and is intended as a decorative edge of the leaf. Some artists like to keep a curly side and frame a watercolor painting to make it visible; others cut it. It is a matter of personal preference.

Different surfaces on watercolor paper: rough, hot-pressed, and cold-pressed

Watercolor paper is divided into three categories based on the surface of the paper: rough, hot-pressed (HP), and cold-pressed (NO).

As you would expect from the name, the rough watercolor paper has the most textured surface or the most prominent tooth. It is sometimes described as a pebble surface, a series of irregular rounded shapes like a pebble beach. On rough paper, paint from very watery washes tends to collect in crevices in the paper, creating a grainy effect as the paint dries. Alternatively, tapping the surfaces lightly with a dry brush will only apply paint to part of the paper, the top of the ridges, and not into the indentations. Rough paper is generally not considered a good paper for painting fine details, but it is great for a loose, expressive painting style.

Hot-pressed watercolor paper has a smooth surface with almost no dents. Its smooth surface is ideal for painting fine details and even for color washes. Beginners sometimes have trouble with paint sliding off the smooth surface.

Cold-pressed watercolor paper is sometimes referred to as NOT paper (because it is not hot pressed). It is the paper between rough and hot-pressed paper, which has a slightly textured surface. Cold pressing is the most widely used watercolor paper surface because it allows for a good amount of detail while still having some texture.

The soft pressed watercolor paper falls between hot-pressed and cold-pressed, with a slight dent. It is usually very absorbent, absorbing paint, making it difficult to paint dark or intense colors.

Again, it is important to remember that surfaces vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Watercolor paperweight

The thickness of a sheet of watercolor paper is measured by weight. So logically, the higher the weight, the thicker the blade. It is measured in pounds per ream (lb) or grams per square meter (g / m2). Standard paperweights are 90 lb (190 g / m2), 140 lb (300 g / m2), 260 lb (356 g / m2), and 300 lb (638 g / m2).

A thinner paper should be stretched to avoid warping when you paint on it. How thick your paper needs to be before you can easily paint it without sagging depends on how the paper tends to render as you paint. Experiment with different weights to see, although you will probably find that paper under 260 lb (356 g / m2) needs to be stretched.

Not having to stretch is not the only reason to use heavier paper. It will also withstand more abuse and require more glazes.

Watercolor paper blocks

Watercolor paper is also sold in blocks that are "glued" on the edges. This format has the advantage that it is not necessary to stretch the paper before painting on it to avoid deformations.

However, there are downsides to the watercolor block. To begin with, you need to let the paint dry on the block (if you separate a sheet before it dries, it can warp as it dries). This means that you need more than one block if you want to make multiple paintings one after another.

Also, some manufacturers do not assemble their blocks so that the same side of the paper is always on top. Therefore, you may find yourself painting on the "good" side and then the "bad" side of a paper. And some artists say that the paper in a block did not have the same surface texture in the same mark on a single sheet, so be careful with that.

Watercolor paper that is sold in blocks is usually more expensive than any other size, but the convenience may make you decide it's worth it.

Enjoy The Video Tutorial about What Is The Best Watercolor Paper? Improve Your Watercolor Painting

Source: makoccino

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